Is software about grades or ideas?
Joel Spolsky yesterday:
The geeks want to solve the problem automatically, using software. They propose things like unit tests, test driven development, automated testing, dynamic logic and other ways to “prove” that a program is bug-free.
The suits aren’t really aware of the problem. They couldn’t care less if the software is buggy, as long as people are buying it.
One of the reasons Schank hated undergrads so much was that they were obsessed with grades. He wanted to talk about whether computers could think and all undergrads wanted to talk about was why their paper got a B instead of an A.
Do I really have to expand this into an essay? How about this joke:
A fellow is in Vegas to do some climbing at Red Rocks. He goes into a bar, it’s quiet, he leans over to the bartender. “Hey!” he calls out, “Wanna hear a joke about programmers?”
The bartender frowns. “I’m a programmer,” the bartender says flatly. He points at a big guy playing pool in the corner, the guy looks like he twists re-bar into Christmas ornaments in his spare time. “Schank over there, he’s a computer science prof. And over there, Lois and Maude?” Our guy looks, there’re two women the size of tanks with the jar-head haircuts to match. “Lois and Maude are programmers, too.”
The bartender leans forward menacingly. “Are you sure you want to tell us your little joke?”
Our man finishes his drink, slaps down the money, and eases out off his stool. “No, best not to bother,” he says. The bartender nods. Our guy speaks again.
“I hate it when I have to repeat the punch line.”